A Hawkeye win over Iowa State in football? Check. Another victory in wrestling? That’s still up in the air.
The No. 3 Hawkeyes and Iowa State will continue the Cy-Hawk Series at Carver-Hawkeye at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The two teams will wrestle for the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for the ninth time in history; in the previous eight, Iowa has outscored the Cyclones, 226-63. The Hawkeyes have never lost possession of the trophy since its creation.
“[Iowa State is a] hungry, well-coached team,” head coach Tom Brands said. “They’ve got a lot of things going in their favor — we have to be ready. Those are all vague comments, but I’m from afar, I’m not in their room. The focus is on seven minutes hard, and we have the guys that march to that.”
The probable lineups include three ranked matchups. At 133, No. 10 Austin DeSanto will wrestle No. 14 Austin Gomez. Although this will be DeSanto’s first Cy-Hawk dual in a black and gold singlet, he knows what the rivalry is about.
“He knows what Iowa and Iowa State is, even from being from Pennsylvania,” Brands said. “Of course, we’re talking about another home match and big crowd. There’s some things that are at stake that aren’t normally at stake, like a trophy. We’ve got to be ready at 133 just like we’ve got to be ready at nine other weight classes.”
Another featured matchup includes the 149-pounders, No. 11 Hawkeye Pat Lugo and No. 12 Jarret Degen. However, Carter Happel is listed as a backup and could take the mat instead of Lugo.
The Hawkeyes’ No. 12 Jacob Warner will also make his season début against No. 5 Willie Miklus, a Missouri transfer.
After news that All-American Michael Kemerer will undergo season-ending surgery, the Hawkeyes must find a way to make up the lost points.
“I don’t feel any pressure [to score more points] because I know my teammates will do that for me, too, if I don’t get that done,” DeSanto said. “We’re all hard-nosed, hard-pace wrestlers that set the pace and don’t relax.”
This season, Myles Wilson has wrestled at 174, and he has a record of 2-2. Although Wilson hasn’t had a dominant start to his season, Brands believes it is possible to get there.
He said that if Wilson takes a breath, relaxes, and wrestles tenaciously and tough, he will be fine. Wilson will have a chance to prove himself in a full arena on Saturday.
“He has a good opportunity to wrestle in front of a bigger crowd than he’s probably ever wrestled in front of,” Brands said. “I think if he could relax a little bit and let his best wrestling come, we’re going to be fine. That’s part of being a high-level competitor.”
At 125, either No. 1 Spencer Lee or Perez Perez will take the mat. Another match-time decision will be at 184 between No. 11 Cash Wilcke and Mitch Bowman.
No. 16 Max Murin (141), No. 13 Kaleb Young (157), No. 4 Alex Marinelli (165), and Aaron Costello (285) will all be in the lineup. Brands, who has never lost to Iowa State as coach, and his team will look to extend its dominance over its archrival.
“It’s definitely something we get up for, both sides, Iowa and Iowa State,” Young said. “It’s important. It’s one we circle in red on the calendar. We’ve got to get ready for it — same as any other week.”
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